The BTwin 700 helmet is a perfectly good option for those not wanting to spend £100 plus for the latest big brand lid. It looks good too.
French sporting behemoth Decathlon's in-house BTwin brand is going from strength to strength, offering good quality, stylish kit for not much cash. The BTwin 700 helmet is at the higher end of the range, and, finishing aside, could pass for something costing a lot more.
The first thing that struck me on seeing the 700 was 'Catlike'. The Spanish company's design language of large elliptical vents is closely mirrored by the 700, making for a helmet that lets a lot of air in. There's no evidence of channels inside to assist with airflow out again, but for £28 you can't expect too much.
In white, the finish is a slightly iridescent, pearly look with contrasting black, and it looks nice. The two reflective patches at the back look white, too, keeping with the monotone. Around the back there's an adjustable clicky band which, on me, didn't quite come low enough to offer a really solid fit, but, like shoes and bibshorts, everyone's different so try before you buy.
The straps were adjustable enough, but you don't get locking Y-slider bits for under the ears – so I found I needed to micro-adjust after every donning. If you like to dial your fit in just so, this might get to be annoying. The buckle's a simple affair and there's no chin padding, plus the strap ends are plastic-riveted together, leading to an inevitable loop of strap once fully adjusted, so maybe trim short and sear with a lighter once you've got the fit.
In the pack you get a spare set of pads, handy if they wear out or get lost. There's also a clip-on peaked visor, though it's only an inch wide and has five large slots in it, so won't stop rain or sun, or plant detritus from falling through...
The 700 uses 'in-mould technology' – meaning that the polystyrene foam is injected into the shell while it's still in the mould, where it solidifies. This means they form an integral single piece and allows for funky shapes to better channel air, and there's no risk of the plastic shell coming away. One thing you do notice is the finish – something's got to give at this price point, and in this case it's the finish quality, which leaves a few less-than-perfect edges here and there. But hey, it's £28.
Going from a £100+ lid to the 700, I can't say I noticed much difference once it was on and adjusted. The 57-61cm model was 340g, which felt OK and you'd probably not notice a bit of extra fat over more expensive offerings unless coming to it from a sub-200g (but over £100) super-lid.
Fundamentally, after a month of blatting about the place, I'm quite happy with it. Take the £72 you'll save on a £100 lid from a big brand and spend it on something that makes a difference, like better bibs or tubeless tyres. Because for the money, there's little to differentiate between the 700 and helmets four times the price.
For £28 it's a pretty darn good lid and looks on-trend – just check the fit of the rear band
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road.cc test report
Make and model: BTwin 700 Road Cycling Helmet
Size tested: Large, 57cm-61cm
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
It's a pretty good helmet for the money. Very good, in fact. If it fits, why look further?
In-mould technology for a lightweight helmet. Micro-adjustable slider provides precise adjustment around the head, for a secure, snug fit. 17 vents provide excellent ventilation.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
VENTILATION 17 vents.
LIGHTWEIGHT 270 g in size M.
EASE OF USE Micro-adjustable slider for a snug, secure fit.
COMPOSITION Inside Shell - Main fabric : 100.0% Polystyrene (EPS) - Expanded Webbing : 100.0% Polypropylene (PP) Outside Shell - Main fabric : 100.0% Polycarbonate (PC)
RESTRICTED USE: Not suitable for motor sports.
STOCK ADVICE Do not expose to high temperatures (60°C max.) and store in a dry place away from UV light. Clean with a soft wet sponge and neutral soap.
CARE INSTRUCTIONS: Clean with a soft wet sponge and neutral soap.
GUARANTEE : 2 Years
Seems built well enough, but a few edges could do with tidying up.
Yup. It stayed on my head once locked down.
Can't imagine it going wrong, and it has a two-year warranty if it does.
340g in large isn't light, but we aren't talking much compared with much pricier options.
The rear adjustment band could come lower down, for my head anyway.
Darn good value.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Pretty well. Straps could be tweaked, as could the band, but fundamentally it's a good 'un.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The Y-strap things moving. Annoying, a bit.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
If the Y-strap-things were locking, and the rear band came a bit lower, it would be a 4.5.
About the tester
I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling